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Psych 2075 Chapter 2- Theoretical Perspectives on SexualityFrom an evolutionary perspective, no single decision is more important than the choice of a mate E.O. Wilsonleading sociobiologist Albert Banduraprominent social learning theorist John Gagnonproponent of script theory Libidobiological sex drive Evolutionary Perspective Evolutionary perspectives use principles from evolutionary biology to explain why certain patterns of social behavior and psychological mechanisms have evolved in animals, including humans Sociobiologythe application of evolutionary biology to understanding the social behaviors of animals, including humans Evolutiona theory that all living this have acquired their present forms through gradualchanges in their genetic endowment over successive generations A major criterion for how humans choose a mate is physical attractivenessNatural selectiona process in nature resulting in greater rates of survival of those plants and animals that adapted to their environment Once a man and a women mate, there are several obstacles to reproductive success, twobeing infant vulnerability and maternal death oInfant vulnerability is greatly reduced if the mother provides continuing physical care, including breast-feeding It is further reduced if the father provides resources and security from attack for mother and infant Two mechanisms that facilitate these conditions are pair-bond between mother and father, and attachment between infant and parent Parental investmentthe behavior and resources invested in offspring to achieve the survival and reproductive success by parents oMen will invest more in their genetic children than in their stepchildren Research has found that, in men, physiological sexual arousal is specific to stimuli depicting their preferred sexual partner, whereas women show physiological arousal to stimuli depicting both their preferred and non-preferred sex partners, and even to stimuli of animals oNatural selection would have favoured women with an automatic or reflexive physiological response to a range of sexual stimuli Sexual selectionproposed by Darwin, selection that results from differences in traits affecting access to mates oConsists of 2 processes Competition among members of one gender (usually males) for mating access to members of the other gender
Preferential choice by members of one gender (usually females) for certain members of the other gender Evaluation of sociobiology oCriticized for resting on an outmoded version of the evolutionary theory that modern biologists consider naïve oSociobiology has focused mainly on the individuals struggle for survival and efforts to reproduce oSociobiologists assume that the central function of sex is reproduction; this may have been true in our evolutionary past but not true todayoRecent research does not support some of the evidence that is widely cited in